A spokeswoman for the firm told FoodManufacture.co.uk that it has entered into a consultation process with employees over possible redundancies that will be completed by the end of this year.
The 55 jobs at risk are spread across “a number of different functions and levels in the UK and Ireland”.
The spokeswoman said: “We need to remain competitive in a difficult economic climate. As costs continue to rise, particularly raw materials, we must continually review our cost base and our efficiencies in order to remain strong.”
The firm has not announced where the job losses will be made in the UK and Ireland. But the most likely location is thought to be Müller’s headquarters in Market Drayton, Shropshire.
Councillor Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “It is vital that we support as many people as possible and help to reduce the impact these potential redundancies could have on the local community and its economy.
“That is why we are working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to offer staff the advice, information and support to access other employment opportunities; including using the skills they have developed from many years of work at Müller to set up their own businesses.”
The Müller spokeswoman added: "All of our staff have been informed of the situation and we are consulting with them via our employee forum about how this will be achieved. Their co-operation and ongoing professionalism in the face of this unsettling news is commendable.”
Earlier this year, there was speculation that the German yogurt producer could mount a takeover bid for Dairy Crest after it bought a 3.04% stake in the firm in 2010.
Last year Müller had the greatest share of the UK yogurt market with 29.2%, according to market research company Mintel.
The news of the job losses follows the departure of marketing manager Lee Rolston last month and chief executive Garry Eccles in October. Rolston had been in his role for about a year, while Eccles had been in charge for about two years. It is not known whether the two departures are linked to the potential job losses.